Tag Archives: Graphic Novels

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Overview
The Tea Dragon Festival | Book by Katie O'Neill | Official Publisher Page |  Simon & Schuster

Title: The Tea Dragon Festival
Author: Katie O’Neill
Series: Tea Dragon #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: DragonsGraphic novels, LGBTQI, Tea
Dates read: 20th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Oni Press
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: In my true form, of course.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Rinn has grown up wit the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village, but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep… but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.

Critically acclaimed graphic novelist Katie O’Neill delivers another charming, gentle fantasy story about finding your purpose, and the community that helps you along the way.

Thoughts

Like The Tea Dragon Society, this was just a beautiful, sweet and incredibly cute graphic novel. It made you feel completely at peace and happy from the very first page. Whilst also helping to expand your heart with more and more love. Just, completely and utterly adorable.

I love that not only does O’Neill feature minorities in the form of sexual and gender orientation in her graphic novels. But in this one, there is also sign language. Yet another minority group that just doesn’t get enough attention. It reminded me that I would love to learn sign language…

No matter how many times I look at this graphic novel, I’m going to want a Tea Dragon. I’m just not sure which one. Although, I love that in this one, not only are Eric and his partner (I can’t remember how to spell the name) younger, but instead of each having an individual Tea Dragon, they just roam free through the village.

One of my favourite messages in this graphic novel is the idea that no matter what your contribution… it’s still important. Whether that’s cooking, or gathering the ingredients, or being a bounty hunter. Every contribution in our world is important. And as long as you are happy, then it is a worthwhile contribution.

<- The Tea Dragon SocietyThe Tea Dragon Tapestry ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster

The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Overview
The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel by Patti Laboucane-Benson

Title: The Outside Circle
Author: Patti Laboucane-Benson
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels
Dates read: 31st July 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Anansi
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Open Up!

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Synopsis

Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Aboriginal healing circles and ceremonies.

Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Aboriginal men.

Thoughts

This is a seriously powerful graphic novel. Normally a graphic novel of this size, I’ll rip through in one sitting. One happy, intense and fun sitting. But, nevertheless, I don’t normally dwell over graphic novels as much. And I certainly don’t normally have to put it down at regular intervals to gain a better headspace because of intensity. It’s not just the storyline. The images in this are also incredibly potent, powerful and brilliant.

The colours throughout this graphic novel are absolutely gorgeous. I loved all of the natural tones that fill the pages and the way in which the different tones change. Particularly from beginning (more reds and angry colours) to end (natural, calmer colours). The imagery, partnered with the storyline and the colouring turned this from a story that I would have enjoyed anyway, but ended up being completely drawn into in an unforgettable way.

At the conclusion of this novel, I found out that the whole journey throughout is based on a real program that is available in Canada to their Indigenous Peoples. It seems like such a great program and I just loved the fact that this gave a nice level of realism to the story line. It also made me feel hopeful for the many, many, many Indigenous peoples who are in similar positions.

Not only did this make me seriously think about the Indigenous people of Canada and America, it also made me think about our own First Nations People. And the ways in which we could maybe have a similar program for them one day. Or… maybe we already do, and I’m just ignorant…

<- More Patti LaBoucane-BensonMore Graphic Novels reviews ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Chosen by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Overview
Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen by Marjorie M. Liu

Title: The Chosen
Author: Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Series: Monstress #4
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Graphic novels, Steampunk
Dates read: 27th March 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: image
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: It will just take time for lesser beings to grasp the truth.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

A new war between humans and Arcanics is bubbling to the surface. A rift in the sky has revealed the devastating potential of the long-imprisoner Monstra. And Maika Halfwolf is at the center of it all.

In this fourth volume of MONSTRESS, collecting issues 19 – 24, Maika comes closer than ever before to the answers she’s long sought – but those answers carry a steep price. As her friends and allies reveal long-held secrets and shifting allegiances, Maika finds herself at the mercy of the Lord Doctor, a charismatic demagogue whose connections to Maika and Zinn run deeper than anyone could have imagined.

Thoughts

This is a glorious graphic novel. Just like the rest of the books in the Monstress series. They are dark, twisted and intense. Completely, beautifully graphic. And I honestly can’t tear my eyes away from the pages whenever I open that first page.

The plot is seriously thickening in this series. I am waiting impatiently for the next collection to come out because, as with every other volume in this series – it ends on a bit of a cliff hanger. There is something about this that makes you ridiculously excited to pick up the next story and immerse yourself again and again and again. But, now I have to wait…

Graphic novels are a medium that are seriously growing on me. However, I still do find that I can’t keep track of the characters as well as I do when it’s a novel written in prose. So there were probably a few important moments throughout this that I missed. A few key characters from the past that are reappearing, and it took me a little longer than it usually would to recognise them. Yet, this makes the adventure so much more fun. After all, I’m stretching some new mental muscles in doing so.

This is definitely a book that I’m going to pick up again and again and again. Whenever I want something a little bit dark, and kind of easy to enjoy. It’s just fantastic and completely impossible to forget.

 <- Haven ReviewAwakening Review ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Last Olympian: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan and Robert Venditti

Overview
Image result for the last olympian graphic novel book cover

Title: The Last Olympian: The Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Graphic Novels #5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 21st February 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: The fire-stealer guy?

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Synopsis

The end is near.

War is upon the half-bloods as they prepare for battle against the Titans, knowing that the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

Except Percy is running out of time as the long-awaited prophecy surrounding his sixteenth birthday finally unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Thoughts

I already knew what was going to happen in this story – I’ve read the novel that it was based on. But it was still beautiful and stunning. Almost impossible to forget. There is just something so beautiful about this graphic novel. It’s a lot lighter than some of the graphic novels that I tend to read. It’s also great to see a graphic novel interpretation that actually envisions things like I did. It didn’t ruin my perceptions by being something so totally different.

Spending the night reading this graphic novel made me want to go to my shelves and grab yet another Rick Riordan novel. I kind of need to finish / start the Kane Chronicles, so it’s definitely something that is insanely tempting… but I probably need to finish some of the series that I have already started.

I found the Last Olympian novel a bit of a darker storyline than the rest of the series. Yet, somehow, this was quite a nice, light book. Both in the gorgeous colours and the way that the storyline is set out. The more horrible parts don’t take up a large portion of the storyline, but they do still feature. In a way that makes the tale a little more uplifting and bright than what I was expecting.

This was a great, easy finish to the graphic novel adaptations. It was a good way to spend an hour just drifting back into an amazing world that I’m not all that keen on leaving most of the time.

 <- The Battle of the Labyrinth ReviewThe Lightning Thief Review ->

Image source: Riordan Wiki-Fandom

Haven by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Overview
Image result for monstress 3 haven book cover

Title: Haven
Author: Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Series: Monstress #3
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Graphic novels, Steampunk
Dates read: 19th September 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: image
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: If we’re here, it’s because family protects family.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Maika Halfwolf has begun to unlock the mysteries of her past – but the challenges of the present are only growing. In this third volume of MONSTRESS, collecting issues 13-18, Maika’s journey takes her to the neutral city of Pontus, where she hopes to find temporary refuge from her pursuers. Unfortunately, Pontus may not be as safe as Maika and her allies had hoped.

s the impending war between humans and Arcanics creeps ever closer, and powerful players fight for the chance to control her future, Maika finds she must work with Zinn, the Monstrum that lives inside her, in order to ensure their mutual survival. But even that alliance might not be enough to prepare Maika for the horrors to come.

Thoughts

I’ve been putting off reading the next instalment in The Monstress series until it would complete a little more of one of my reading challenges… and when it finally came up on that week in my challenge… well, I completely devoured this. It probably helped that I was having a kind of dark week, and the darkness in the illustrations and storyline of this graphic novel hit the spot perfectly… now I just have to save up the money for the next book in the series…

I’m not someone who reads a lot of graphic novels… actually I’ve really only become interested in the genre in the last eighteen months… but for me, this is everything I never knew I wanted in a graphic novel. A fantastic combination of east and west… with a very healthy dose of mythology and steampunk thrown into the mix. But, mostly, I’ve loved how as this series has progressed, the story has gotten darker and darker, more complex and intensely twisty.

What started as an easy story about Maika Halfwolf has by this point become an incredibly complex tale of politics, war and the gods. There are a few points throughout which I lost a bit of track of who was who, but it was incredibly easy to quickly pick up the thread of the storyline again. After all, Liu and Takeda have done an amazing job of telling the story.

Although I enjoy this story, it is the stunning beauty and power of the illustrations which truly drew me in. There is an intensity and power to the panels which I haven’t seen in many illustrations, one that will leave goose bumps up your arms as you flick through the pages. And quite possibly linger in your dreams when you lay your head down at night.

 <- The Blood ReviewThe Chosen Review ->
Image source: image Comics

The Battle of the Labyrinth – the Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti

Overview
Image result for the battle of the labyrinth graphic novel book cover

Title: The Battle of the Labyrinth – the Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – the Graphic Novels #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 28th June – 4th July 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: That’s why the Titans’ army is after it.

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Synopsis

Honestly, blowing up another school was the last thing I wanted to do.

As the son of a Greek god, I’ve had my share of near-death disaster – and now my arch-enemy Luke wants to invade camp via an ancient labyrinth.

If he succeeds, thousands of bloodthirsty monsters will attack. So it’s ‘Goodbye, sunshine; hello, darkness’ as four of us descend into the terrifying underground and beyond…

Thoughts

It took me a little longer to get into this graphic novel than the first three in the series. I don’t know if it’s maybe because I just didn’t originally like this storyline as much (it mostly just sets up the final battle), or if I picked it up at an inconvenient time. But, regardless, it took me a fair bit longer to read than a graphic novel usually would. Although, once I got past the first part / chapter, I didn’t stop.

There was a lot of information in the original novel, and a lot that was missed out in the graphic novel. But Venditti and Riordan managed to work this perfectly. I didn’t feel like important aspects were skipped out on, but rather, wondered why I enjoyed them so much in the novel. There was a great flow and pace to the storyline as you sink into the depths of the labyrinth and hope for the best with Percy and all his friends.

One of the parts of this graphic novel that stuck with me was the panels which showed Annabeth, Percy, Grover and Tyson walking through the labyrinth. Each panel has a different background to the characters and I thought that this showed the tricky, everchanging nature of the labyrinth perfectly.

 <- The Titan’s Curse – The Graphic Novel ReviewThe Last Olympian – The Graphic Novel Review ->
Image source: Penguin NZ

Blood Crime by Kim Harrison

Overview
Image result for blood crime kim harrison book cover

Title: Blood Crime
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #0.3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 14th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: 2012

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Synopsis

You can’t tell the story of how it all began for supernatural cops Ivy Tamwood and Rachel Morgan without telling how it all nearly ended. The fiery living vampire and erstwhile earth witch never asked to be paired up in the first place. And having to work Inderland Security’s crummiest beat—busting two-bit paranormal street punks—sure didn’t sweeten the deal. But when it counts, Ivy and Rachel always have each other’s backs. They’d better—because someone just hung targets on both of them.

It doesn’t take a hotshot homicide detective to know that nearly getting flattened by a falling gargoyle or impaled by a lead pipe aren’t on-the-job accidents. But it doesn’t seem possible that the class of crooks Ivy and Rachel routinely collar could kill anything but brain cells. So who put Cincinnati’s tough and tender twosome on their “to do in” list? Is Ivy’s vampire master, the powerful and seductive Piscary, jealous of her growing bloodlust (and just plain lust) for Rachel? Or have forces unknown—living or undead—made the partners prey in a deadly witch (and vampire) hunt?

Before this case is cracked, Ivy and Rachel will face down vicious dogs, speeding locomotives, rogue bloodsuckers, and their own dark desires; spells will be cast and blood will be spilled; and Kim Harrison’s hair-raising, heart-racing, dark urban world of magic and monsters will leap howling from the pages of her second electrifying, full-color graphic novel.

Thoughts

I finished off Blood Work feeling really tense. Although I know that Ivy and Rachel must have a good, ongoing relationship after this first case, I still was seriously concerned for Rachel’s health. Blood Crime helped to continue on this origin story where you understand a little more of Ivy’s obsession and dark past. It also highlighted the strength of Rachel and the potential fun and sass of future cases.

The vivid imagery throughout this graphic novel completely swept me away. As did the total darkness of the storyline. Obsessive love is constantly featured. Actually I wouldn’t even really call it love. Just obsession. An obsession that is all consuming and seriously not healthy. I expected it from Piscray. I didn’t expect Ivy to mimic and mirror many of these emotions. Alright, Ivy’s thoughts and feelings came from a much nicer place, but they’re still totally not okay, and kind of seriously creepy.

The crime story throughout this is kind of interesting. But the part that I loved most about this was the darkness. The revealing of the damaging relationships between vampires and the ways in which there is constant abuse. It was completely blood curdling. Yet when I started reading Dead Witch Walking, I was ten times more committed to the characters within the first page.

 <- Blood WorkDead Witch Walking ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Titan’s Curse – the Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti

Overview
Image result for the titan's curse graphic novel book cover

Title: Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse – the Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – the Graphic Novels #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 27th May – 6th June 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Bianca is gone.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

IT’S NOT EVERY DAY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH A HALF-LION, HALF-HUMAN.

But when you’re the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh and guess what. The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive…

Thoughts

I felt like there was a little more information left out of this graphic novel adaptation than past ones. Although, since this is the book that really starts to set up the final battle, that really wasn’t very surprising. And, the parts that they left out and glossed over really didn’t affect the way in which the storyline actually moved forwards. Which, all in all, didn’t leave me feeling too disappointed.

Like the first two graphic novel adaptations, the drawings in this were exquisite. They showed almost exactly what I had picture in my mind’s eye. It really wasn’t hard to be swept away in the story all over again.

Although I have read the novel, I love the fact that there was a big enough gap between my readings that it almost felt like I was reading the story all over again. My only real disappointment was that it was over so quickly…

 <- The Sea of Monsters – the Graphic Novel ReviewThe Battle of the Labyrinth – the Graphic Novel Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti

Overview
Image result for book cover the sea of monsters graphic novel

Title: The Seas of Monsters: The Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Graphic Novels #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 11th April 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Splash

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

You can’t tell by looking at me that my Dad is Poseidon, God of the Sea.

It’s not easy being a half-blood these days. Even a simple game of dodgeball can turn into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants – and that’s just the beginning.

Now Camp Half-Blood is under attack and, unless I can get my hands on the Golden Fleece, the whole camp will be invaded by monsters. Big ones…

Thoughts

This was such a fun, easy and enjoyable read. As an adaptation from a novel that includes a lot of detail, it works kind of brilliantly. It also swept me up in the world of Percy Jackson all over again. Enough so that I quickly picked up Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor as soon as I turned the last page – Riordan always takes you on such a great journey through mythology and teenage fun!

There were some parts of the novel that I missed in this retelling – primarily the prophecy which Clarisse is given. It is vaguely mentioned once towards the end, but it doesn’t feature as heavily in Clarisse’s character development (what little there is) throughout the story. Although, since this is a series about Percy, it is understandable that one of the first aspects to be cut out is the development of a secondary character.

I love that this isn’t an overly bright and colourful graphic novel. The series isn’t really one that lends itself to a bright and deliriously happy outlook. After all, Percy spends the entire five years of this storyline being attacked by numerous gods and monsters… but it is still a little light and colourful, and that humour and enjoyment of life manages to weave itself into the colour scheme.

 <- The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel ReviewThe Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel Review ->
Image source: Amazon UK

The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

Overview
Image result for book cover the lightning thief graphic novel

Title: The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Graphic Novels #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 9th Arpil 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Thank you, Father.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.

I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive. This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I’ve stolen his lightning bolt – and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

Thoughts

There is something about the Percy Jackson stories that I just can’t seem to get enough of. Actually, almost anything created by Rick Riordan seems to draw me in pretty fully and quickly. So I’m not really sure why it took me so long to realise that there was a series of graphic novel rewrites of the original series… and then why it still took me a little while to get my hands on the first one of these… and now that I have… I’m super, super glad. And looking forward to getting the other four and spending my afternoons in the beautiful illustrations.

It’s always hard to adapt a full length novel into anything shorter. I mean, there’s a reason that I very rarely like movie adaptations of well-loved books, there is ALWAYS something that needs to be left out. I might only just be sinking my teeth into graphic novels, but it’s definitely the same for these adaptations too. What do you leave out? What do you leave in? Luckily for me (and unluckily for my bank account), this adaptation was kind of perfect. Yes, there were many small details and moments left out, but the storyline was still able to move on quite happily. Within two pages I had ordered The Sea of Monsters, because this adaptation was able to meet all my expectations.

 <- The Last Olympian: The Graphic Novel ReviewThe Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel Review ->
Image source: Amazon